Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnamese Mission to the UN and chairman of the UNSC’s Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, acknowledged the results of previous trials, emphasising the request made for fair judgment in line with the correct procedure.
Lavishing praise upon the mechanism’s progress in terms of ensuring gender equality, the Vietnamese diplomat added that he backs increased co-operation as a means of helping the mechanism finalise the remaining cases as soon as possible.
During the meeting, Carmel Agius, president of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, noted that the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic has led to cases that were due to conclude by the end of the year being pushed back to the start of 2021.
Data compiled in both The Hague in the Netherlands and Arusha in Tanzania, along with procedural rules, are to be completed, he added.
Agius highlighted the arrest of fugitive Félicien Kabuga made on May 16 this year as a major breakthrough in terms of tracking down and punishing cases involving severe international crimes. The fugitive was a key suspect involved in the 1994 genocide committed against the Tutsi people of Rwanda and had been able to evade capture for more than two decades.
Participants noted the IRMCT’s progress in trial work, document management, witness protection, and pandemic prevention measures.
They also urged member nations to support the mechanism in line with the council’s resolutions.
The UNSC had originally developed the IRMCT in December, 2010, in order to perform a number of essential functions previously implemented by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The council then conducts a review of operations every six months.